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Mum raises 19k for Tunbridge Wells Hospital to thank life-saving staff

A mum has raised more than £19,000 for Tunbridge Wells Hospital, after staff saved her two-year-old son's life twice.

Caroline May decided to launch the 'Reverse 999 Appeal' after medical staff cared for her son Arthur, who has a heart and a suspected immunodeficiency condition.

Caroline May started the fundraising appeal to thank staff who saved the life of her two-year-old son Arthur
Caroline May started the fundraising appeal to thank staff who saved the life of her two-year-old son Arthur

In less than three months, £19,100 has been raised for the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), which has already funded a rehabilitation chair and devices that deliver drugs.

Family and friends have been donating £9.99 to an online fundraiser set up by Caroline since early April.

Mrs May, who has two other children and lives in Langton Green, said: "Tunbridge Wells Hospital saved Arthur's life in May 2018 when he was struck by a viral infection of the heart and again in December 2019 when he had sepsis.

“We take for granted that we can call 999 when we want urgent medical help, so I started the Reverse 999 Appeal so people can type those numbers in a different way and help support our local hospital.

"As well as it being a chance for me to give back and say 'thank you' to the hospital for saving Arthur's life, I wanted to do something to help others during the pandemic.”

'We take for granted that we can call 999 what we want urgent medical help...'

So far the funds have helped pay for six Aerogens, a device which delivers drugs straight into a patient’s lungs via a ventilator; a high spec rehabilitation chair and six dementia clocks which can be used by patients with delirium.

Mrs May now hopes to reach £30,000.

She said: “I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has donated to the appeal so far, now I’m asking local schools and business as well as individuals to help me reach the £30,000 target."

Jane Sansom, ICU matron, said: “The amount of money Caroline has managed to raise in such a short space of time is incredible.

“That money is already making a real difference to the care we provide.

Hospital staff with one of the Aerogens and a dementia clock
Hospital staff with one of the Aerogens and a dementia clock

“The new rehabilitation chair means we can get more patients out of their beds and in to an upright position.

"The dementia clocks are really helpful for patients, who may be disorientated due to their condition, to understand what time of day it is, and the Aerogens allow staff to get drugs directly into a patient’s lungs to help them breathe."

“We wish Caroline the very best of luck with reaching the £30,000 target.”

Click here to make a donation.

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